First Sh-aid: Tesco becomes first to sell plasters in a range of skin tones

UK supermarket giant Tesco has announced that it has become the first supermarket in Britain to sell plasters (adhesive bandages) in a range of skin tones.

Tesco sign

For some people, this is probably an issue that has never even crossed our minds, but for many others, it is something that reflects a greater issue of inclusivity in society.

It is a subject that came to light last year, after Dominique Apollon – the vice-president of research at non-profit organization Race Forward – shared in tweet in which he revealed he was “holding back tears” after he finally found a plaster that matched his skin tone for the first time.

Sharing pictures of the bandage on Twitter, Apollon wrote: “It’s taken me 45 trips around the sun, but for the first time in my life I know what it feels like to have a ‘band-aid’ in my own skin tone. You can barely even spot it in the first image. For real I’m holding back tears.”

Apollon’s tweet received more than 530,000 Likes and over 100,000 retweets.

As of February 24 the own-brand products will be available in light, medium and dark shades and will be stocked in all 741 stores nationwide, as well as online. They will retail for £1 ($1.29).

As you can see from the tweets below, the news is a welcome one.

Twitter user Sajda Mughal types: “YES! This is like that feeling as a WOC growing up not being able to find the right tone of foundation apart from pink!!! And finally somebody introduces it!!!”

And Miqdaad Versi writes: “Tesco is the first UK supermarket to launch plasters in a diverse range of skin tones. Rationale provided: an employee saw a viral tweet in which a black man said he was holding back tears at finding a plaster that matched his skin tone”.

Per the Huffington Post, the retail giants accelerated the encouraging plaster range through development stages, and the final design was tested by its black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) network.

Commenting on the products, Paulette Balson, the chair of BAME, said:

“No UK supermarket had ever stocked plasters in a range of skin tones before and we saw this as an opportunity for Tesco to lead the charge and make a genuine difference.

“Through our research, we know how emotive a product like this can be. For example, one colleague reported that their child had felt self-conscious wearing a plaster on their face to school recently, because it didn’t match their skin tone and stood out.”

Range of plasters in different skin tones
Credit: Tesco

Nicola Robinson, the Health, Beauty, and Wellness Director at Tesco, has said that she believes the new products will inspire other supermarkets to follow suit, saying:

“As one of the largest retailers in the UK, we understand that we have a responsibility to ensure our products reflect the diversity of our customers and colleagues.

“We believe the launch of our new skin tone plaster range is an important step and a move that we hope will be replicated by other retailers and supermarkets across the country.”

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